What If My California Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Braces?

braces financing La Mesa

Some dental insurance providers don’t cover orthodontics. This doesn’t make sense to orthodontists. Straightening teeth can prevent expensive dental problems. These include tooth decay, treatment for bite problems, and periodontitis (advanced gum disease).

We all know that dental insurers rarely make coverage decisions based on what is best for the patient.

However, you shouldn’t give up on braces if your dental insurance provider doesn’t cover them. You may be able to get coverage for part of the procedure. Or your medical insurance may cover part of the course of action.

What to do if your dental insurance company doesn’t cover braces.

  • Have your orthodontist provide a detailed implant treatment plan in writing
  • Armed with your treatment plan, talk to both your dental insurer and your medical insurance provider
  • If misaligned teeth have medical complications like a TMJ disorder, your health insurance provider might cover some elements of the treatment
  • Consider switching dental insurers–if your employer offers more than one dental option, contact the other provider(s) to find out if they cover braces
  • Pay for braces instead of premiums: consider not renewing your dental insurance and use the money saved toward the cost of braces
  • Look into orthodontic-specific insurance–some businesses are filling a need in the industry by offering dental insurance developed specifically for braces and related treatments
  • Ask Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about financing and payment options
  • If your employer offers a health savings account (HSA), consider allocating money previously spent on dental insurance to your HSA and receive potential tax benefits

Braces are a wise investment in your health and quality of life. If you need braces but your insurance doesn’t cover them, talk with us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8343

Are All Clear Aligners Alike?

Invisalign La Mesa

If you are researching orthodontics, you have probably heard about clear aligners. They offer several advantages over traditional metal braces. The most popular benefit is the fact that they are nearly invisible.

Millions of men and women have straightened their teeth with aligners in the past twenty years since they were introduced.

We’re here to help with your research. Note that your orthodontist may not offer all types of clear aligners. This post is for informational purposes only.

Invisalign

Invisalign pioneered clear aligner orthodontics. Established in 1997, Invisalign has shaped more than 6 million smiles throughout the world.

Invisalign (as with the other types) uses virtual modeling software to create custom aligners formed specifically for your teeth.

First, you’ll start with a consultation where an orthodontist will inspect your teeth. They will work with you to determine which Invisalign treatment plan will work best for your teeth, lifestyle, and dental goals. Then, they will set you up with aligners that are individually-constructed for you.

It’s vital to note that you will never be left on your own to figure out what step is next. Your orthodontist will be with you every step of the way. Finally, you just live your life, while sticking to the guidelines set out for you by your doctor.

ClearCorrect

This is how the company describes their product: Clear. Simple. Friendly. Made of polyurethane, these aligners can straighten your smile discreetly and effortlessly.

ClearCorrect is run by a team of highly trained professionals. They have added many innovations to the diagnostic and treatment process. Many orthodontists believe it’s the most convenient system for both patients and doctors.

Over 10,000 doctors use ClearCorrect. Many ClearCorrect providers offer flexible payment plans.

SmileDirectClub (And Other At-Home Systems)

Though we don’t suggest this system, let’s talk about the “mail-order orthodontics” products. We are including an explanation of SmileDirectClub and other at-home systems so you’ll be aware of their potential problems and limitations.

SmileDirectClub provides custom clear aligners without regular office visits. They advertise an average cost savings of 60% of orthodontist-administered Invisalign and similar systems. They report that the average length of treatment is 6 months.

All aligner systems require a 3D image of your teeth. With Invisalign and ClearCorrect, your orthodontist creates the scan in their office.

With SmileDirect, you can visit one of their “SmileShops” for a scan. There are SmileShops in every U.S. state but you may have to make a long trip. They also offer you the option of taking your own impression using their at-home kit.

Your treatment is supposedly supervised by a dentist or orthodontist—but you don’t visit them in person. Your dentist doesn’t take X-rays or examine your progress.

Because of this, we don’t recommend these types of systems. Your smile is too important to use a DIY approach. Your teeth could end up worse than before! The problems could be expensive to correct. In a worst-case scenario, you could experience irreversible damage.

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists have published warnings against at-home orthodontics.

Schedule a consultation at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry to determine which system is best for you.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8199

What Is Oil Pulling?

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Today’s Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry dental post looks at oil pulling; an alternative practice that has been generating a lot of buzz around La Mesa. Oil pulling has been a part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is the practice of swishing oil in the mouth for twenty minutes to benefit the teeth, gums and overall health and well-being. The oils most commonly used are coconut oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil.

Proponents claim that it detoxifies the mouth, cleans plaque, reduces inflammation, cures bad breath, whitens teeth, kills infection, and boosts the immune system. Some advocates even claim that it “cures” cavities and periodontal disease.

What does the American Dental Association say about oil pulling? Here is an excerpt from a May 2014 article:

“To date, scientific studies have not provided the necessary clinical evidence to demonstrate that oil pulling reduces the incidence of dental caries, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of currently available evidence, oil pulling is not recommended as a supplementary oral hygiene practice, and certainly not as a replacement for standard, time-tested oral health behaviors and modalities. The ADA recommends that patients follow a standard oral hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, using ADA-Accepted products. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth help prevent cavities and keep gums healthy.”1

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry cautions patients not to replace brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings/exams with oil pulling.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide top-quality dental care for every member of your family. We serve all of your preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental needs including gum disease treatment, Invisalign, sedation dentistry, TMJ treatment, and implants. Our comfortable, state-of-the-art office is located at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa.

1“The Practice of Oil Pulling,” American Dental Association, May 14, 2014, http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/science-in-the-news/the-practice-of-oil-pulling, accessed on June 19, 2014

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6532

Don’t Underestimate The Importance of Retainers

orthodontist La Mesa

The retention phase is an essential milestone. When you’re ready for an orthodontic retainer, the slow, challenging work of moving teeth is over.

Your smile looks extraordinary, but stay with the program.

There is still a lot going on behind the scenes—under the gums. Your jawbone, muscles, and soft tissues are adapting. This takes a while.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is a custom-made appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after orthodontic treatment. Retainers may be removable or fixed in the mouth.

Patients who neglect to wear their retainers are at risk. Their beautifully-aligned teeth may shift. If your bite was corrected during treatment, it may revert back to the original condition.

Follow Dr, Gray’s Recommendations

Your dentist will prescribe a schedule for wearing your retainer. Your orthodontic treatment plan is unique. It may differ from that of other patients.

What If I Lose My Retainer?

Occasionally, patients lose their retainers. If this happens, contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry ASAP for a replacement. We understand that life can get hectic. We urge you not to let weeks pass without getting a replacement retainer.

We teach our patients how to care for their retainer. It’s helpful if parents reinforce this training at home for their kids undergoing treatment.

Keep Your Retainer Clean

After eating, clean the retainer with a toothbrush. Brush it carefully with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You can use denture cleaner regularly for a deeper clean.

If your teen has a cell phone, set an alert to remind them to clean their retainer. While you’re at it, set an alert reminding them to keep the retainer in its case when not in use.

Keep Your New Smile Clean!

If it’s important to clean your retainer, it’s no surprise that it’s even more important to clean your beautiful new smile. It will be more straightforward now that the braces are off.

Practice proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day. Flossing and brushing before bed ensures that bits of food don’t sit on teeth all night. For extra cavity prevention, use a fluoride rinse before going to sleep. Saliva is necessary to neutralize acids and rinse bits of food off of teeth.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8195

Oral Health In Childhood Has A Lifelong Impact

kids dentist La Mesa

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA area, we believe that keeping your child’s teeth healthy is critical while they are young. We would be honored to be your choice for our specialized general dentistry services.

Tooth decay and gum disease can hamper speech development. It can also make it more difficult for the child to eat healthy food. Unhealthy teeth reduce a child’s self-confidence. This, in turn, puts mental health at risk. Mouth pain can also impact school performance. The bottom line is that maintaining a healthy mouth in childhood is essential for a healthy life. And once your youngster moves into adulthood, oral health should remain a priority.

You may be surprised to learn that inadequate oral hygiene may increase the risk of multiple diseases, including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Blood Cancers
  • Lung Cancer

The truth is that lifelong oral health is a process that starts early. Young children should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth erupts, which is much earlier than many moms and dads often realize. So parents, please put dental appointments on your “to-do” list, along with well-child check-ups and immunizations.

You might think you know the basics of daily oral hygiene for children, but it is wise to get a refresher course from one of our expert, child-friendly hygienists. We can also review sealants, bite issues, fluoride supplements, thumb sucking, and orthodontia.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA area, we would be honored to be your choice for our specialized general dentistry services. We can help your children and adolescents maintain healthy teeth and gums. We can also detect problems in the early stages when they are easier (and yes, less expensive) to correct.  Call us today to schedule an appointment or consultation. We look forward to meeting you and your child.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


When Wayward Teeth Take A Crooked Path

La Mesa orthodontics

Invisalign clear braces are an increasingly popular choice in orthodontics. They produce excellent results, but are so discreet that some people call them invisible. They are available from Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa.

Unlike traditional metal braces, Inviaslign clear braces have no wires, brackets or rubber bands. They are so discreet that people standing just a few feet away from you may not realize you’re wearing them.

They look a lot like an athlete’s mouth guard. The proper term for such braces is “aligner.” They are made of clear plastic and are worn over your upper teeth to gradually bring them into alignment.

One of the things that people like best about Invisalign clear braces is that they are removable. You can take them out at mealtime, and when you brush your teeth at night. You should wear them while you sleep, however. For the best results it’s recommended they be worn for at least twenty-two hours each day.

Invisalign clear braces are a great choice for adults who want to straighten their teeth, but don’t want to wear traditional braces at work. They are not, however, for everyone. They are not good for patients who, for example, have severely rotated teeth.

To find out if Invisalign clear braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. We provide a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


Missing Pieces In The Mouth?

cost of dental crowns San Diego

A 500-piece jigsaw puzzle is still easy to recognize with 32 pieces missing. But a 32-piece dental puzzle is just not fully finished without all of the pieces. If you’re missing teeth, consider a dental implant from Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa.

A dental implant is a titanium post that is attached to your jaw. An artificial tooth goes on top of the post. Most patients say they are superior to a dental bridge, because they look and function like a natural tooth.

A dental implant is just one option to completing your dental puzzle. Other possibilities include porcelain veneers, professional teeth whitening, and Invisalign clear braces. Let us fill in those missing pieces—there has never been a better time to look into cosmetic dentistry.

From dental implants to all of the above, your lucky smile could be the next puzzle to be put back together beautifully. Visit our smile gallery to see what we can do.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


It’s Not Too Late To Get Them Straight

It's Not Too Late To Get Them Straight

Are you an adult in Alpine with misaligned teeth? Do you regret not having orthodontic treatment when you were a teen? It’s not too late to straighten your teeth – and there are more types of braces available than ever before.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the latest types of braces. Here is a quick rundown of the most common types used in Alpine, Jamul and Santee cosmetic dental practices.

If you don’t want the whole world to know you are wearing braces, ‘behind the teeth’ or lingual braces may be a good option. So-called ‘invisible braces’ work great for many La Mesa men and women of all ages. Some types of braces are offered in ceramic, which are also less visible than metal braces. These are often called ‘clear braces.’

Invisalign, Damon, and iBraces, are some of the trade names of proprietary orthodontic systems used in the California dental community.

Once the orthodontia patient has completed treatment, he or she needs to wear a retainer to keep those pretty teeth in line. The traditional Hawley retainer consists of a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and holds them in place. The metal wire is attached to a molded acrylic form that fits snugly in either the upper or lower part of the mouth.

Clear retainers are also popular with San Diego orthodontists and their patients. They fit the teeth like a transparent glove without the need for hardware. Some Alpine patients believe clear retainers are more comfortable than other types.

If you want more beautiful teeth, come into Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa and discuss your goals with Jeff Gray, DDS. Gray will examine your teeth and recommend the most effective system for you.

Jeff Gray DDS is a full-service general, family, and cosmetic dental practice. We have been exceeding expectations since 1986. Ask us about Invisalign, porcelain veneers, and dentures.


Orthodontic Options In La Mesa

Invisalign Clear Braces Is the Easiest La Mesa Straightening Option

Welcome to my La Mesa cosmetic dental blog. I’m Dr. Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS, a full-service La Mesa cosmetic dental practice. I have been practicing general and cosmetic dentistry in La Mesa, California since 1986. During this time, I have developed many rewarding relationships with my patients and staff members.

Many dental patients have chosen cosmetic dentistry to correct misaligned teeth. La Mesa children with less-than-perfect smiles often feel self-conscious about their teeth. It is extremely satisfying to help a child or teen achieve a smile they can be proud of. Attractive teeth boost self-esteem for San Diego people of all ages.

There are now several different types of braces available in San Diego, but Invisalign clear braces is a modern and easy approach to straightening your teeth. Your La Mesa cosmetic dentist will help you choose the best type for your particular situation.

If you would like to discuss teeth-straightening options, I invite you to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation by calling (619) 337-7700.

Perhaps your teeth are straight but have other imperfections. Teeth whitening, dental crowns and bridges, porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding, gum contouring, and crown lengthening all deliver fantastic results. At Jeff Gray DDS we have been creating brilliant smiles in California since 1986. We specialize in general dentistry and extreme smile makeovers.

Many San Diego folks have an aversion to dental visits. If you have delayed treatment because of dental anxiety, talk to us about sedation dentistry. Don’t let fear and anxiety prevent you from getting the care you need.


Crooked Teeth in La Mesa?

Straight Teeth in La Mesa Now is a great time to have crooked teeth! Why? They can easily be straightened.

There are few technological wonders of our era that are more appreciated than modern braces. Teeth straightening hardware of past generations had many drawbacks. They often involved a whole orthodontic tool kit–full metal bands, headgear, elastics, spacers, and wires poking every which way. If you played an instrument that required the use of your mouth, well, it wasn’t pretty.

Metal braces for most in San Diego were uncomfortable, bulky, and downright ugly. They also created many hidden nooks and crannies for bacteria to quietly drill into your enamel. If you are too young to remember old school braces, you can’t truly appreciate the ceramic braces, clear braces, and Invisalign aligners available today right here in La Mesa nd San Diego. Even traditional metal braces are now smaller, less noticeable, and more comfortable.

The advancements in La Mesa orthodontic treatments and shorter treatment times is one reason many San Diego adults have chosen to straighten their teeth even if they passed as a teenager. Does that mean you don’t need to have your child seen by a La Mesa orthodontist if you suspect problems? Absolutely not.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends early San Diego orthodontic evaluation. It is always best to identify problems with teeth and jaw development early. Your orthodontist or pediatric dentist will know the proper age to begin treatment if necessary.

We provide many cosmetic dental procedures at Jeff Gray DDS. Did you know that porcelain veneers in San Diego can solve some less-extreme tooth alignment problems? If your teeth are fairly straight but your smile is compromised by a couple of damaged or chipped teeth, affordable porcelain veneers may be your one-visit solution.

For more information about the La Mesa cosmetic dental options offered at Jeff Gray DDS in , see https://www.smilesandiego.com/meet-dr-jeff-gray/ or call (619) 337-7700.